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Case series
Management and outcome of spontaneous cerebral venous sinus thrombosis in a 5-year consecutive single-institution cohort
  1. Darrin J Lee1,
  2. Arjang Ahmadpour1,
  3. Tamar Binyamin1,
  4. Brian C Dahlin2,
  5. Kiarash Shahlaie1,
  6. Ben Waldau1
  1. 1Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California-Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, California, USA
  2. 2Department of Radiology, University of California-Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to Professor Ben Waldau, Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, Davis School of Medicine, 4860 Y Street, Suite 3740, Sacramento, CA 95817, USA; bwaldau{at}


Background Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) is an uncommon form of stroke with a variable presentation, ranging from headaches, to coma and death. Although the American Stroke Association has developed guidelines for the treatment of CVST, data are sparse on the outcome after treatment with anticoagulation, thrombolysis, and thrombectomy.

Methods In this retrospective review, we describe the 5-year UC Davis experience with spontaneous CVST.

Results Forty-one patients (mean age 37.5±23.1, range 0–96 years; 29 female) were identified with CVST. The majority of cases involved the transverse sinus (75.6%), sigmoid sinus (58.5%), and superior sagittal sinus (29.3%). The most common form of treatment was anticoagulation or antiplatelet therapy (n=35), while six patients were managed by observation alone. The overall 1-year modified Rankin score (mRS) was 1.4±1.5. Male patients and patients with a poor admission mRS had a worse outcome. Outcome was unaffected by hypercoagulable state, number of dural sinuses involved, the presence of intracranial hemorrhage, or seizures. Two patients who underwent anticoagulation therapy also required endovascular thrombectomy; both patients had a 1-year mRS of ≤2. Two patients underwent direct open surgical canalization of the superior sagittal sinus with varying outcomes (mRS 2 vs mRS 6).

Conclusions In our series, the majority (92.9%) of patients with spontaneous dural sinus thrombosis had a favorable clinical outcome as defined by a mRS ≤2. Further prospective studies are needed to study the impact of anticoagulation on the clinical course of the disease.

  • Thrombectomy
  • Thrombolysis

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  • Contributors All authors made substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; and drafted the work or revised it critically for important intellectual content; and gave final approval of the version to be published. They agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval UC Davis institutional review board approval: 653859-1.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement All collected data and analysis (excluding any patient identifiers) will be available for review.